So what can we all expect from “A View from the Dome”?

Well, I can assure you I won’t spend the scarce available time I have to help out with mindless banter about SU lacrosse. Nor will I wax poetic about life on the SU campus. (No, and not the night life either! Though it can be creatively constructive when the proper mood strikes.)

This weekly blog will be totally driven by YOU, the viewer. Often you have a lot to say and sometimes what you type gets lost at the bottom of a thread that has dozens if not hundreds of responses. I’ve been there. You want your voices heard, but sometimes what you say gets dwarfed by the John Jay Army or the Long Island Brigade. (I hear they are both club teams that will embark on an ambitious box league schedule this fall at a homemade rink/lax utopia Joe is currently constructing with the use of taxpayer bailout money on his sprawling expanse of property inside his Connecticut compound.)

So what I plan to do each week is respond to your e-mails by either offering opinions or by following up on your suggestions on great features, profiles or interviews that YOU, the reader, want to see.

Now that the introductory shenanigans are over and done with, I wanted to jump into something that is a bone of contention with many in Section 1.

Why do the teams up in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess always seem to fall short against Long Island when the chips are really on the table? I’m talking June. I’m talking Hofstra. I’m talking West Point.

Will this year be any different?

I know. I know. What about Yorktown? Well, I ask you, what about Yorktown? The ‘Huskers haven’t won a state title since 2003. Though they have six state titles, they have never won a New York state Class A crown. Some of you my age or older might say, wait a second there ‘Cuse, Yorktown won arguably the greatest game in New York state history back in 1984 when they beat West Genny 6-5 in the state final, ending the Wildcats’ run of three straight crowns and their pursuit of the national record for consecutive wins (91, tied with Sewanhaka).

That’s all true and I was there to see it, but remember this: Back in 1984 there were no classifications in the state. Everyone was lumped together into one big pile and only the strongest survived. Classifications started in 1986.

So, yes, I may be nitpicking here, but in truth Yorktown is still looking for Class A state crown No. 1. No one will ever argue that Town isn’t one of the premier programs in this grand country, but when it comes to dominance on a global level, you aren’t a world beater until you win Class A in New York. It’s the hardest state title to win anywhere on the planet as far as high school lacrosse goes. This is why when I rank the five greatest programs in the history of the state, Yorktown comes in at No. 4, behind West Genny, Ward Melville and West Islip (we’re talking public high schools now … I can just see the St. Anthony’s folks gnawing on their laptops right now). Garden City, Manhasset, Lafayette and Corning East would also be in my Top 10.

And chew on this why don’t ya: Yorktown hasn’t been to the Class A final since 1987 and that year they lost 13-1. And believe me when I tell you the Genny folks had a ball rubbing it in. I know Yorktown played in Class B for the bulk of that time since, but sooner or later you knew that enrollment would jump back up and Town would once again be matched against the monster programs of the state.

Knowing all this, I commend Yorktown and coach Dave Marr for not taking the “easy” way out this year. They could have dropped down to Class B and dealt with Nisky and whoever else survived upstate, but they didn’t. They said, “We want to win Class A, because, as ‘Cuse so deftly pointed out on, that’s what it’s all about.”

Bravo Town. Bravo.

Besides Yorktown, only one other Section 1 school has ever won a state crown – Mahopac in 1996 – and I can spend a week discussing that one because to do what the Indians did back then during a three-day or whatever it was stretch is unfathomable – beating both Ward Melville (I think the final was actually 2-1) and West Genny (4-3) on their way to glory.

The ’96 Mahopac team is often overlooked in the annuls of New York lacrosse, but let it be said right now: I haven’t forgotten and neither should you. It’s what coach Haddeland and everyone else who lives up in Putnam County longs for – to get back to what used to be.

There have been near misses for Section 1 as well. John Jay beats the best team in the country in Huntington and then lost to JD in the Class B finals back in 2007. That’s still a bitter pill for Jay fans to swallow and they don’t like talking about it.

Somers got a taste of the high life back in 2003 but lost by 127 goals to Lafayette in the Class C final. I’m sure the mighty Rabidou brothers know a little about the pain I speak of. Lakeland, way before the merger with Panas, lost to West Genny 10-5 back in 1991. I know people who played on that team and they often threaten bodily harm when I bring it up.

Right now, Section 1 has the players, but not the depth collectively to break through. There simply aren’t enough premier programs in this area to match the everyday depth of Long Island. Why does Ward Melville rarely travel outside Section 11, save for the Yorktown game, which is more of a nod to friendship and history than it is a “need” game to prepare for sectionals and states? Because the Patriots don’t have to. They get their fair share of challenges from teams in their neighborhood.

West Genny upstate? Same thing.

It’s just not the same here … yet. I think strides have been taken, however. Section I is producing more D-I caliber talent than ever before and feeder programs are sprouting up all over the place like dandelions on my lawn. Lacrosse is now a tradition in towns like Rye, Somers, Katonah/Lewisboro, Mahopac and Suffern, and is fast becoming the only sport to play in Pleasantville, Briarcliff, Chappaqua, Nanuet and Bronxville.

Section I has the coaches as well. It has the fan base. It has the parental support.

The only thing missing is the hardware.

To quote the immortal Jimmy Malone from “The Untouchables,” … “Now, what are you prepared to do?”

I’d like to know, from each of you. Post your comments here. You can also e-mail me at

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Posted In: Long Island lacrosse

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4 Responses to “A View from the Dome: Getting to know this 'Cuse character”

  1. Joe Lombardi says:

    Good stuff, ‘Cuse. You got me thinking. If Yorktown were in Class B:

    A. Who would be the favorite to win Section 1 Class A?

    B. Would Yorktown be the clear frontrunner in the state to win the championship?

  2. Syracuse says:

    A. I’d have to say Mahopac, though it would be a war of attrition. Lakeland/Panas is another team we haven’t heard a lot about during this preseason. They have one of the best attackman in the state, but little else is really known unless you’ve actually seen them or squared off against them in a scrimmage. On the other hand, it seems like we could already write a book about the trevails of the latest law firm up in Putnam — Perrelle, Brandofino & Haddeland, ESQ.

    B. Yes, I’d say Yorktown would be the “known” entity most likely touted as the front-runner, but Nisky always poses problems due to their defensive prowess and slow-down methodical approach. Not to mention the fact that they are now producing players like never before. I liken Nisky’s rise to prominence up there to Jay’s down here. And let’s not forget: Guilderland and Shen are on the cusp of one day making Nisky’s life even tougher. And let us not forget the mystery team that always seems to emerge from Class B on Long Island. See Bethpage, Wantagh, South Side, Hewlett and Huntington as references. Sure, we all know them now, but we didn’t before they came out of nowhere. They simply didn’t have the resumes of a Garden City or Lynbrook.

    Who knows? Maybe a mystery team will win B this year. Maybe, just maybe, that team is located just a short ride from Yorktown … Or maybe Corning East will be 2-for-13 in state finals after this year …

    That’s too many maybes if you ask me. One thing is certain, Class B in New York will be by far the hardest one to predict, and don’t be surprised if a first-time state champ emerges.

  3. lefty says:

    Mahopac did have a great run in 1996, but keep in mind Yorktown shut them out that year. Yorktown was undefeated during the 96 regular season, but went on to get walloped by Bethpage, which was arguably the best team in the state that year.

  4. syracuse says:


    Good point. My taking a stroll down memory lane with Mahopac wasn’t designed to say they were the best team in the world that year. It was just to say what they ended up doing in Class A was worth remembering. I guess if you use that line of reasoning, Bethpage was clearly the best team in the state that year. There will be years when Class B’s top team is better than Class A’s, but those years are few and far between. Besides Yorktown’s glory run from 91-93 when they were in B and Huntington of 2006-07 (which should have won it all both years but didn’t thanks to Jay), it would be difficult to say when the last time a Class B team was indeed the best overall team in the state, Bethpage’s unreal squad in 1996 not withstanding. Good post though.

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